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 Post subject: Thank you AGDs + my thoughts and first impressions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:24 pm 
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Well... where do I begin? To be completely frank, I have absolutely no idea what to say. After seven whole years, waiting in eager anticipation since August 2001, when I discovered King's Quest 1 Remake, and I downloaded it and finished it in one day (though I haven't taken full advantage of the speech pack yet!), and almost a year later, I found King's Quest 2 out, too, and I found it to be the single finest example of amateur (and by that I mean, non-profit, and not a disparagement of it's unmatched quality!) adventure game writing ever. You people have single handedly beaten a majority of commercially released games in the late 80's and early 90's with just that. I knew that that QFG 2 remake had to be something utterly spectacular by any standard, and with the hilarity of Al Emmo, and the gorgeous artwork, wonderfully voice acting, and memorable characters that were found their way into our hearts and minds (I don't care what they say... the heart of an adventure game isn't the puzzles, or the setting, but the characters, and everything else is gravy!). The Sierra Nevada mountains might be the most memorable thing to us in pre-1998 gaming (when QFG 5 was released, the last ever game developed by Sierra), but I hope to think of the Himalayas to carry on that tradition. I was actually a bit ticked off to hear that Al Emmo hasn't turned a big enough profit. I got my collectors edition and I will continue to buy the future games produced as much as I can. Also I'm hoping to find a part-time job in addition to working so that I can afford to buy a painting or so from you people. Every bit counts.

So what about QFG 2? What's the very first impression I got? Well, other than starting my day playing 'sweet victory' by Survivor as I downloaded and installed the game :p ... the sequence in the desert... wow, three letters, and that describes it better than anything else. I'm not going to ask a question of 'what is AGS capable of?', rather, I'm going to ask, “what is it NOT capable of?” That is some serious stuff you had there, I'm not joking, I think it's superior in every way to the intro sequence in the QFG 4 CD version! And even to the QFG 5 intro (I'm not going to ask you people if you can or cannot do it with AGS. I KNOW it can be done!). The start scroll was intensely crisp and clear, the intro, while pretty much the layout was the same, amused me to see the whole new names on the board, with only the ever so legendary Lori Ann and Corey Cole being credited. Naturally, but the ever so few people who worked to make this amazing game is nothing short of astounding. There needs to be an official award for best amateur game of the year, with a big ceremony (or as big as this sort of thing can get!) and you people would have to win, hands down, no argument.

So how well do the graphics work for this game? I'll tell you how. The city is infinitely more ALIVE than it has ever been! Gone are the few residents in a dead place, but now they seem to have much more and with the addition of Katta, they feel like a real part of a city and not a handful of dudes around stalls that would make you think 'are these people part of a mafia or trade cartel? They're all related to each other and all merchants, too. You never see a Katta who isn't other than Sharaf, but for all you knew, he was probably selling apples before becoming a La Resistance guy” Now with those critters walking around, you know that Shapeir does have a significant Katta population and perhaps there are some Kattas that aren't master merchants and totally crafty craftsmen who could probably make something twice as fast and at half price. But the thing that totally takes the cake is the alleyways.

I know what you're thinking, I know what everyone is think, “dude, the alleyways were the worst part of the game!” But I never saw it that way. First of all, if you've been to some countries like Greece, sometimes the streets DO look like that in Real Life, and I have little doubt that perhaps some city might have had quite a bit of places in the Medieval era (for the Middle East anyways), but what you did to the streets turned them from being dark, forbidding alleyways that look like they're the interior of a prison or dungeon, into a vibrant and living place. The cross roads have people passing by casually without you getting the feeling that they're people you need to avoid, and yes, even the Al Emmo easter egg (I'd recognize that lovable geek anywhere!) was awesome.

There are now barrels, trash, windows of varying design, doors that look people's homes, some shops and businesses, too, and best of all... you have an OPEN AIR place! I always found it weird that they looked like a system of tubes or caverns through a city. What was the deal with that? Now that it's open air with scenery in the horizon, and sunlight, and countless evidence of LIFE there. One of the most major complaints given to the Star Wars prequels that I've seen is that people bashed it on being too pristine, clean, and spotless all the time, while the original trilogy had a 'lived in' feeling to everything that had evidence that people were alive in the Galaxy Far Far Away. The original game, at no fault to the programmers of the time (they worked under several technological limitations. Not just of their programming tools and computing capabilities, but also the computing capabilities of their customer base... most people didn't have hard disks at the time and making an overtly complicated game for the time would have put-off too many people), made the game look a lot less alive and more like an artificial makeshift city.

Oh, and the navigation system is great, too. Even without a map and simplified alleyway system, I can still find my way with the street name being highlighted with the arrow pointing. This is a god send since before last year or something I didn't even bother to check the street names or what they ever had to mean, but then I realize that the Cole's had a lot more going to their idea, but most people never saw the point, and it was sadly bashed without any real understanding of it.

The combat system is by far the best in any Quest for Glory game, and in fact, smacks around even some of the best combat games I've seen on newgrounds.com and most games TODAY can never touch that level of innovation and challenge... even with maxed out stats (I cheated. :p) I still found it challenging and fun to fight the brigands and terrorsauraii and had my ass handed to me at least once. But what can we say about the specifics? Dude, the combos are incredible, the need for real actual reflexes and brains and tactics. You gotta time your dodge just right even if you have 200 agility, strength, and dodge ability, and the ultimate cool part is that you have multiple attack combos! You couldn't even begin to comprehend my excitement when I learned that immidiately after a jump-back you could make a leaping strike, and uppercut attack, a slash thrust hack combo... the only thing cooler than this to have the actual hero give you sword fighting lessons and Macgyver to give escape artist courses right afterwards, too! :D

If I can make one ever so minor nitpick, only one, was that Shema's dance was... well, I don't know, the part when she has her arms out and and his swaying her hips around didn't seem 100% smooth, but that's pretty much it, really. It was still cool, and Shema's heartwarming cuteness that drew me towards her as a kid has only amplified. :)

I'm not even 10% into the game yet, and my day's activities still hold, but tonight... tonight I shall start a new game, 100% fair and no gamewizzing around. I will do it, and write a further in depth review later.

In the meantime, long live Sierra, long live Adventure games, and long live Himalaya studios and may they become the new Sierra, creating games with characters and creators that we would call our extended families.

Till next time stay cool 8))


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 Post subject: Re: Thank you AGDs + my thoughts and first impressions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 3:31 pm 
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agreed :)

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 Post subject: Re: Thank you AGDs + my thoughts and first impressions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 4:27 pm 
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There are some incredible alley/battle system behind the scenes features coming up on the site. Stay tuned!

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 Post subject: Re: Thank you AGDs + my thoughts and first impressions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 5:16 pm 
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You made my day with that post, PL. :)

You know, you WERE supposed to learn that moveset piece by piece, rather than all at once. I'm glad you're enjoying the extended repertoire of the hero...I'm most curious how you will fare against Khaveen, who uses every single one of those techniques against you. It's nice to see you appreciated the battle system...it was a pain to stabilize.

Shema's dance was a bit difficult to script in, due to the large amount of differently sized frames she had in her dance. I'm already glad AGD2 managed to finetune it to the point where it looked decent. Shema was one of the characters who grew on me too and it shows in the game. Her character (and Shameen) were among the first NPC's who received a set of optional tell-about lines in order to enable the player to interact with her more.

I'm very happy you're enjoying the game so much. Seeing that you've always been one of our most vocal supporters, I'm happy you haven't been disappointed so far.

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 Post subject: Re: Thank you AGDs + my thoughts and first impressions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:52 pm 
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Hey, thanks for the great review Paladinlover. Glad to hear you're enjoying the game so much. And thanks for all your support over the years! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Thank you AGDs + my thoughts and first impressions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:26 pm 
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Till next time. Stay Cool! LOL. 8))

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 Post subject: Re: Thank you AGDs + my thoughts and first impressions
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:26 pm 
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Quote:
You know, you WERE supposed to learn that moveset piece by piece, rather than all at once. I'm glad you're enjoying the extended repertoire of the hero...I'm most curious how you will fare against Khaveen, who uses every single one of those techniques against you. It's nice to see you appreciated the battle system...it was a pain to stabilize.


Yeah I learned. I just imported a maxed out character of mine into the game and I didn't cheat to get max stats. I lost quite a bit of fights so it makes me believe that I need to hit the gym with Uhura and max out fair and square before going out (with at least a dozen healing and stamina pills every time!) and go whoop some ass.

Also as for Khaveen? Well, let me put it this way. Remember those 'this is your brain on drugs?' PSAs? Well here's how it would go. You got olive oil in my scratched frying pan... then you have brains dropping on them. "This is really hot olive oil... this is Khaveen's brain after I'm done with it. Any Questions?" :p

Till next time stay cool 8))


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